The U.S. medical establishment on Tuesday urged President Donald Trump to share critical COVID-19 data with president-elect Joe Biden’s team to avoid needless, deadly lags in tackling the pandemic.
The extraordinary rebuke came in an open letter from three leading health-care organizations as state and local governments scrambled to fight the virus in the absence of a co-ordinated national strategy.
“Real-time data and information on the supply of therapeutics, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital bed capacity and workforce availability to plan for further deployment of the nation’s assets needs to be shared to save countless lives,” said the letter, signed by heads of the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Hospitals Association.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, co-chair of Biden’s COVID-19 task force, said Tuesday he and other medical advisers had been unable to discuss the pandemic with current administration officials, an obstacle that could compromise the U.S. response to the virus.
The soaring rate of new cases this fall has stricken even rural areas that had dodged the worst of the pandemic over the summer. Government officials in at least 17 states representing both ends of the U.S. political divide have issued sweeping new public health mandates this month. These range from stricter limits on social gatherings and non-essential businesses to new requirements for wearing masks in public places.
The United States crossed 11 million total infections on Sunday, just eight days after reaching the 10 million mark. The Midwest remains the hardest-hit U.S. region during the latest wave of infections, reporting almost a half-million cases in the week ending on Monday.
The governors of Ohio and Maryland on Tuesday became the latest to place curfews on bars and restaurants to reduce the virus’s spread this winter, while the prospect of a widely available vaccine is still months away.
“We’re not shutting down, we’re slowing down,” Mike DeWine of Ohio said in unveiling the 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew in his state. “We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control.”
Meanwhile, U.S.-based Pfizer said Wednesday that its latest COVID-19 vaccine trial results suggested the shots are 95 per cent effective and that the vaccine protects older people most at risk of dying from COVID-19.
Wednesday’s announcement from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, just a week after revealing the first promising preliminary results, comes as the team is preparing within days to formally ask U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of the vaccine.
They also have begun “rolling submissions” for the vaccine with regulators in Europe, the U.K. and Canada and will soon add this new data.
What’s happening across Canada
WATCH | Nunavut locking down as COVID-19 case numbers rise:
Canada’s COVID-19 case count — as of 8 a.m. ET on Wednesday — stood at 306,468, with 51,230 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 11,086.
COVID-19 case numbers in Nunavut have more than doubled after the territory reported 34 more cases on Tuesday, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 60. The territory, which reported its first case of the novel virus just this month, is stepping up public health measures and will close schools and non-essential businesses across the territory for two weeks.
Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq told CBC’s Power & Politics on Tuesday evening that “no one has been hospitalized, to the best of my knowledge, so far.”
The Northwest Territories, meanwhile, imposed additional restrictions on travellers entering the territory from neighbouring Nunavut’s Kivalliq region. In Yukon, health officials reported one new COVID-19 case, bringing the number of cases reported in the territory to 25.
Health officials in Saskatchewan are expanding mask requirements to all indoor public places provincewide as it tries to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The province on Tuesday reported 240 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of active cases there to more than 2,000.
The province is also suspending all visits to long-term care homes unless there are compassionate grounds and is limiting private indoor gatherings to no more than five people.
Manitoba‘s chief public health officer is considering more public health restrictions as the province’s health system feels the strain of COVID-19 — including a possible extension of the winter break for schools. The province reported 270 new cases of COVID-19 and seven new deaths on Tuesday.
In Alberta, health officials reported 773 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and five more deaths.
WATCH | Alberta schools feel impact of rising COVID-19 cases:
British Columbia reported 11 deaths and 717 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday — the highest single day figures reported by the province to date in the global pandemic.
According to the province, there were 198 people in hospital, with 63 in intensive care.
While most of the cases in the province have been concentrated in the Lower Mainland, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement Tuesday that there’s been an uptick in other regions.
“We have seen an increase in new cases on Vancouver Island, in the Interior and in the North, many of which are connected to travel to and from the Lower Mainland,” the statement said. “That is why it is important that we stay local and travel less right now.”
In Ontario, health officials reported 1,249 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 569 of those in Toronto and 256 in Peel Region. Both of those regions, and several others in the Greater Toronto Area, are currently in the province’s “red” zone as it tries to slow transmission of the novel virus.
Hospitalization numbers stood at 529 on Tuesday, with 127 in intensive care.
Quebec reported 982 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, five of which occurred in the previous 24 hours.
Health authorities said hospitalizations jumped by 47 compared with the prior day, to 638, and 100 people were in intensive care, a rise of 13.
Premier François Legault said Tuesday that discussions around holiday guidelines are ongoing but he said guidelines on how to handle gatherings could come in the days ahead.
In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia‘s top doctor warned of community spread of COVID-19, saying there are seven cases in the province “where we can’t identify a source that is directly related to travel.”
Dr. Robert Strang said health officials “have to conclude this may be from local transmission.”
The province, which reported five new cases on Tuesday, has now seen a total of 1,151 cases of COVID-19.
WATCH | Small businesses left in limbo as COVID-19 cases rise:
In Prince Edward Island, which has three active cases, the premier said masks will be mandatory in all public indoor spaces.
“This isn’t about the cases here; this is about the turbulence we are seeing across the country,” Dennis King said.
What’s happening around the world
From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 8:50 a.m. ET
As of early Wednesday morning, more than 55.7 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 35.8 million of those listed as recovered by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S.-based university’s tracking tool put the global death toll at more than 1.3 million.
In Europe, German police fired water cannons Wednesday at demonstrators protesting coronavirus restrictions in Berlin’s government district, after crowds ignored calls to wear masks and keep their distance from one another in line with pandemic regulations.
As the cannons soaked protesters outside the landmark Brandenburg Gate, police in riot gear moved through the crowd carrying away some participants. Some demonstrators threw fireworks and flares in response as police helicopters hovered overhead.
The protests came as German lawmakers opened debate on a bill that will provide the legal underpinning for the government to issue physical distancing rules, require masks in public and close stores and other venues to slow the spread of the virus. While such measures are supported by most people in Germany, a vocal minority has staged regular rallies around the country arguing that the restrictions are unconstitutional.
Sweden registered 96 new deaths among people diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest for at least three months, Health Agency statistics showed. Sweden has recorded a total of 6,321 deaths, several times higher per capita than that of its Nordic neighbours but lower than some larger European countries such as Spain.
Poland, meanwhile, reported a record 603 new coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours on Wednesday, but a senior official expressed optimism over a fall in new infections since restrictions were tightened.
The health ministry reported 19,883 new cases, a much lower tally than the one-day record of 27,875 registered in the country of 38 million on Nov. 7.
In the Americas, Brazil’s Sao Paulo state is set to begin importing the first of 46 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine this week, while the federal government takes a more cautious approach with a vaccine developed by Pfizer.
In Africa, Zimbabwe has closed a school after 100 students tested positive for COVID-19, state media reported, as authorities warned of the risk of a new wave of infections in a country that has so far recorded few cases.
The John Tallach Secondary School in the country’s west has been turned into a quarantine centre, the Herald newspaper quoted Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, chair of the country’s COVID-19 task force, as saying. She says 73 students are asymptomatic and 27 show mild symptoms. An undisclosed number of teachers also tested positive.
Authorities suspect that a pupil who recently travelled to neighbouring South Africa infected the others, the paper reported. South Africa, with more than 750,000 recorded infections, has the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea has recorded its largest daily rise in coronavirus infections in about 80 days as officials prepare to tighten physical distancing rules around Seoul. Officials on Wednesday reported 313 new daily virus cases, the first time the daily caseload exceeded 300 since late August.
South Korea is struggling to contain a spike in new cluster infections since it eased stringent physical distancing rules last month.
Under rules taking effect Thursday for two weeks, no more than 100 people can attend rallies, festivals and concerts. People will have to sit at least one seat apart at theatres, concert halls and libraries, while sporting events are limited to 30 per cent capacity.
Malaysia, meanwhile, said it has signed an agreement with China to co-operate on the development of a safe and effective vaccine.
The Australian state of South Australia will begin a six-day lockdown at midnight Wednesday, with schools, universities, bars and cafes closed.
Only one person from each household will be allowed to leave home each day, and only for specific reasons. The restrictions also require most factories to close, nursing home facilities to go into lockdown, and weddings and funerals to be put on hold. Outdoor exercise is banned, and wearing masks is mandatory.
In the Middle East, Gaza’s Health Ministry has reported 600 new coronavirus cases and four deaths over the last 24 hours, the highest daily increase of both since the pandemic reached the isolated Palestinian territory.
Gaza has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power there in 2007, and its health system has been severely degraded by years of conflict and isolation. Authorities have reported more than 12,000 coronavirus cases and 54 deaths so far.
Hamas has periodically ordered the closure of schools, businesses and mosques to contain the spread. A prolonged lockdown would compound the economic woes of the territory’s two million Palestinian residents.
Which nationalities want to move to Canada? – Canada Immigration News
Since many of us are in lockdown, there has been a surge in Google searches for all sorts of search terms: “sourdough bread,” “yoga mats,” “how to make McDonald’s chicken nuggets,” and “how to immigrate to…” insert dream destination.
A new report suggests that the most popular destination where people are looking to move abroad is Canada. The new study by Remitly analyzed the search volume of phrases related to moving abroad and immigration in over 100 countries.
Canada topped the list with a whopping 29 countries who wish to immigrate to the North American nation. To put that into perspective, Japan held second place with just 13 countries.
Spain came in third, followed by Germany, Qatar and Australia. The United States was ninth.
With over 100 immigration options, low unemployment rates and free universal healthcare, it is understandable that Canada is popular among those who wish to move abroad. After all, Canada is one of the most peaceful countries in the world as per the Global Peace Index, where Canada is ranked sixth.
So, which countries want to move to Canada?
Countries in Asia that are seemingly interested in moving to Canada include the following:
It may come as no surprise that India is included on the list. Indian nationals make up around a quarter of all immigrants to Canada.
Between European countries, the most popular destination was Germany, with Canada second. The following countries are those that are most interested in moving to Canada:
- United Kingdom
Among North American nations, there were eight countries showing interest in immigrating to Canada:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Dominican Republic
The continent that is most interested in moving to Canada was Africa, with a total of 13 countries. Find them below:
- South Africa
How Remitly came up with the results
Remitly used Google search data to find out the monthly search volume, in every country in the world, of terms that would likely be used by those who wish to move abroad. For example, ‘move to [destination], ‘work in [destination] and live in [destination] were used. It is important to note that Remitly considered search data in all languages.
The most searched for destination was considered to be the most desired destination for that country.
Canada offers over 100 different immigration programs and has been inviting record levels of successful immigration candidates throughout the coronavirus pandemic to help its economic recovery following the pandemic.
© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved
Ontario reports 1,822 new COVID-19 cases, 29 more deaths – CBC.ca
Ontario reported another 1,822 cases of COVID-19 and 29 more deaths linked to the illness on Saturday.
The new cases include 566 in Toronto, 516 in Peel Region and 145 in York Region. Hamilton and Waterloo saw 105 and 102 additional cases, respectively.
Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:
- Halton: 68.
- Windsor-Essex: 57.
- Durham Region: 48.
- Ottawa: 46.
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 25.
- Niagara Region: 21.
- Simcoe Muskoka: 21.
- Middlesex-London: 20.
- Eastern Ontario: 13.
- Huron Perth: 11.
- Grey Bruce: 10.
- Thunder Bay: 10.
(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ontario health ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard or in its daily epidemiologic summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit because local units report figures at different times.)
The newly confirmed infections push the seven-day average up to 1,523, the highest it has been since the outbreak began in late January. The numbers come after the province set a single-day record for new cases on Friday.
There are currently 13,538 confirmed, active cases of COVID-19 provincewide, a number that is also a new record high.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s network of labs processed 55,086 test samples for the novel coronavirus and reported a test positivity rate of 3.4 per cent. More than 56,000 tests were added to the queue to be completed. Public health officials said recently that they hope to build capacity in the system for up to 100,000 tests daily.
The number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of the illness jumped 54, up to 595 — nearly double the number one month ago. Those being treated in intensive care increased by four to 155, while those on ventilators dropped slightly to 99.
The additional deaths in Saturday’s update push the official toll to 3,624. So far this month, 479 people with COVID-19 have died in the province.
5 regions moving into more restrictive zones
The provincial government announced yesterday that five more regions will move into more restrictive zones starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday:
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- Lambton Public Health
- Northwestern Health Unit
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday – CBC.ca
- Ontario reports 1,822 new COVID-19 cases, 29 more deaths.
- Officials say majority of Canadians could be vaccinated by next September.
- Federal government to enlist the military to help with vaccine distribution.
- Manitoba hospital ICUs operating over capacity due to rise in COVID-19 cases.
- Nearly 100 cases of infection reported at Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre.
- Alberta again breaks records for hospitalizations, ICU patients.
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca
Ontario added another 1,822 cases of COVID-19 to its total on Saturday, a day after recording its highest single-day count of 1,855.
The province also reported 29 new deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus after recording 20 deaths on Friday, when health officials said they had completed just over 58,000 tests — the most the province has ever conducted in one day.
Despite the growing number of cases, a majority of Canadians could be inoculated against COVID-19 by September 2021 “if all goes according to plan,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday. It’s important the vaccine reaches all Canadians “no matter where they live,” he said.
Trudeau said as Canada prepares for “the biggest immunization exercise in the country,” it will enlist the help of a former NATO commander to lead the distribution effort.
WATCH | Ottawa outlines its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan:
Trudeau named Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead the military’s role in co-ordinating logistics, which include cold storage requirements, data sharing and reaching Indigenous communities.
The prime minister said the federal government has already purchased freezers capable of storing vaccine doses at -70 C.
WATCH | Senior military commander to lead vaccine distribution:
Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said as many as six million doses could be deployed in the first three months of 2021. Each patient will need two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, which Health Canada says could win approval next month because its review is in the most advanced stage out of the three leading candidates.
Federal officials warned that any timelines are uncertain and emphasized that no vaccine has been approved for use in Canada.
WATCH | Ontario prepares vaccine plan amid record-high new cases:
Quebec reported 1,269 new COVID-19 infections and 38 more deaths linked to the virus on Friday, including nine that occurred in the past 24 hours.
Federal data showed that as of Friday, Alberta had the highest seven-day infection rate in Canada with 209 cases per 100,000 people.
Friday was the last day of in-school classes for junior and senior high school students across Alberta. Students in grades 7 to 12 are all being shifted to remote learning until Jan. 11, in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The province’s new measures also ban indoor social gatherings, limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people, restrict access to some businesses and make masks mandatory at indoor workplaces in Edmonton and Calgary.
Kaycee Madu, Alberta’s minister of justice and solicitor general, said Friday that the province is empowering 700 more peace officers to help enforce COVID-19 public health orders.
Fines for breaking the rules can range from $1,000 to $100,000 in extreme cases that end up in court, Madu said.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 10:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, Canada’s COVID-19 case count stood at 360,889, with 60,954 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 11,923.
Manitoba announced 349 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 14 more deaths, the province’s second-deadliest day of the pandemic to date. Intensive care units across the province are operating at 152 per cent of their pre-COVID-19 capacity. A record high 322 people are in hospital with the illness, including 45 patients in ICUs.
WATCH | Manitoba’s top health official on recent COVID-19 deaths:
Officials overseeing the pandemic response on Manitoba’s First Nations say 630 new cases were identified over the last week alone. Nine new deaths were reported, bringing the total to 36.
The province announced stricter COVID-19 measures last week that prohibit businesses from selling non-essential items in stores and further restricted capacity at large retailers.
I repeat the same message daily. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/StayHome?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#StayHome</a>.<br>This it is the action that matters the most right now. Only go out for essential reasons.
The new public health orders also prohibit people from having anyone inside their home who doesn’t live there, with few exceptions.
British Columbia announced a single-day record on Friday with 911 cases of COVID-19.
The latest update also includes a new record of 301 patients in hospital with COVID-19, including 69 in critical care.
Earlier Friday, the Vancouver International Airport announced a pilot project in which volunteer travellers are enlisted to take COVID-19 rapid tests before departing on their domestic flights.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, appealed for people to respect store and restaurant employees as she referred to recent confrontations by aggressive customers who refused to wear masks at indoor public places.
“If you are opposed to wearing a mask, then I ask you to shop online, order takeout or stay outside or stay home and not put other people at risk,” she said.
Eleven more people have died in B.C., bringing the number of fatalities to 395, while a record 301 patients are in hospital.
WATCH | New mask mandate in B.C. a point of contention for some:
Prince Edward Island did not reported any new cases on Friday. Starting Monday, masks will be mandatory for staff and students in Grades 10-12 at all times inside a school building, including while sitting at their desks, with exemptions made for situations such as eating or drinking.
Nunavut reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The territory, which saw its first confirmed case earlier this month, has now seen a total of 159 cases.
The Nunavut government said it plans to spend $1 million toward community food programming, including extra funding for communities affected by the pandemic.
The Northwest Territories reported no new cases on Friday. There have been 15 confirmed cases in the territory since the start of the pandemic, all since recovered.
Yukon reported three new cases late Friday for a total of 45 since the pandemic began.
WATCH | Mental health biggest concern in Nunavut lockdown, community food centre exec says:
Saskatchewan reported 329 new cases and four deaths on Friday. Along with 208 recoveries, that brought the number of active cases to 3,263.
The Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre now has 99 cases of COVID-19 — 80 offenders and 19 staff.
WATCH | Some First Nations in Alberta now experiencing 1st wave of COVID-19:
What’s happening around the world
As of Saturday morning, there were more than 61.7 million cases of COVID-19 recorded worldwide, with more than 39.5 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to a coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The global death toll stood at more than 1.4 million.
South Korea reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases for the third-straight day on Saturday, the fastest spread of infections the country has seen since the early days of the pandemic.
The recent spike in infections came after the government eased physical-distancing restrictions to the lowest levels in October to support a weak economy, allowing high-risk venues such as nightclubs and karaoke bars to reopen and spectators to return to sports.
Officials reimposed some of the restrictions this week and could be forced to clamp down on economic activities further if transmissions don’t slow.
India‘s coronavirus infections dipped further with 41,322 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, and there were no signs of a resurgence as a result of a major festival two weeks ago.
The high point of new infections this week was 44,739 on Wednesday. Single-day cases have remained below the 50,000-mark for three weeks.
In the United Kingdom, the government is warning lawmakers who oppose strict coronavirus restrictions that the measures are the only way to avoid a surge that will overwhelm the health system.
A four-week national lockdown in England is due to end Wednesday and will be replaced by three-tier regional measures that restrict business activity, travel and socializing. The vast majority of the country is being put into the upper two tiers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces opposition from dozens of his own Conservative Party’s legislators, who say the economic damage outweighs the public health benefits. Some say they will vote against the measures in Parliament on Tuesday.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the measures were “grimly” necessary. Writing in the Times of London, he said there are currently 16,000 coronavirus patients in British hospitals, not far below the April peak of 20,000. Gove said a rise in infections would mean coronavirus patients would “displace all but emergency cases. And then even those.”
Britain has had Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 57,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
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